Monday, December 9, 2013
When I started this class, I was overwhelmed by all the new things I was going to be introduced to. In my first blog post, I wrote about keeping the basics utilized in my classroom. When I said basics, I was mainly talking about paper, pencils, textbooks, chalkboards, and whiteboards. I am amazed at how far my opinion has changed throughout the process of this course. For instance, I wanted my students to complete a report using no technology, I do think that I will assign this once. I just want them to know how to research topics and find the correct information using an encyclopedia or text based source. I have enjoyed learning all the knew items like podcasting, blogging, PBL, and video journals. I will be implementing all of these technology based learning tools into my classroom. I will definitely have a Project Based classroom. I can barely wait to use these tools in my class. I am very interested in keeping a class blog. Maybe one day, I will be the teacher of a class with a blog that future EDM310 students have to comment on for their weekly C4K's. I want to keep my students up to date with the technology as it becomes available. I do not want them to be like myself, 26, just now learning these methods and tools. I think we should stay up to date with the technologies. They are constantly changing and soon will be taking over the world. Technology helps to engage students in many creative ways. I believe that they will learn more while interacting on computers and iPads than they would just reading from their text books. I definitely have changed my opinion from blog post 1 and I hope that I can make learning fun for my students! I can't wait to put my technology knowledge to use in my classroom! Thank you, Dr. Strange, for all of the "overwhelming" assignments! Part 2
Sunday, December 1, 2013
In this assignment I was assigned to watch a video where Wasley Majerus is demonstrating the use of the ipad for the visually impaired. The voice over is a wonderful asset to the ipad. This is a screen access package and allows the ipad to talk to the person that is using it. It will call out everything that
is on the screen. A useful application for the ipad is the ibook. The ibook is a mainstream ereader. In this application the visually impaired may access the library and then choose the book they are wanting to be read to them. After choosing the book, the chapter may be read to them aloud. Another unique thing about this application is that the illustration will be described. In the application itunesU, it is also made very easy to navigate through the music. All of these applications are made possible through the ipads voice over.
As an education major, this video has brought to my attention the importance of technology and special programs for the visually impaired. I did some research for some online resources for the visually impaired and I was able to find useful information on:https://nfb.org/learning. This website took me to a website that gave special quest games to reinforce learning through math, science, and technology. This website is known as http://www.blindscience.org/online-resources#Accesstech. These websites could be bookmarked onto an ipad for easy access or bookmarked onto a classroom computed for easy access. This way even if resources such as ipads are not supplied at your school these links could also be useful for helping teach children of the blind.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
- There once was a boy his name was Josh, he is 10 years old and he lived on a farm. Josh called for his dad, but there was no answer. Then he called for his dad again, but still no answer, then he heard a whisper saying ‘‘help me sonnnnnn,” then it was gone. That night he had a dream that his dad pulled a prank on him, and hissed “that there are no such things as ghost.” But josh yelled “ where have you been,” then his dad was gone. Josh ran and ran and ran till he woke up. the next day, josh heard someone laughing in the attic. So he walked up the ladder, and saw his dad laughing. Josh said “where have you been i have been looking all over for you i thought you were died, ” and his dad said “ it was a prank.” THE END
For my response to Ava's post I explained to her who I was and that I was a student at the University of South Alabama. I told her that South was located in the United States and was in Mobile Alabama. I told her that I was hopefully going to be a fifth grade teacher when I graduate. I explained to her about EDM310 and the process we follow for our C4K's and explained that is how I found her blog! I told her that I enjoyed her story, and asked her did she make the story up herself? I told her that it was very creative. I went on to tell her that I liked 5th grade a lot when I was a younger student. I visited her blog earlier in the week and saw a slide show she made where she posted her favorite artists and groups, I noticed she included Bruno Mars, so I had to let her know that I liked his music as well! I wished her a great year and left my BlogSpot address just in case she wanted to visit it one day. I thanked her for her post.
For my second C4K of November I was assigned to Miriam's blog. On her most recent post, she described a piece of music which was Canon in D major. She also talks a lot about the composer of the piece. I learned a lot from her post. She said that every few months she and Sarah, her sister, learn a few violin and piano duets. The Canon in D major by Johan Pachelbell is one of her favorites. She lists a lot of facts about the composer and the actual piece of music. She says that this piece has a lot of emotion and has a lot of challenging parts. At the end of her blog post she adds a video of her and Sarah performing the song. That was a great touch!
In response to this blog post, I started out by saying I was a student at the University of South Alabama. I explained to her about EDM310 and the process we follow for our C4K's and explained that is how I found her blog! I then told her that both she and Sarah were incredibly talented. I really enjoyed reading her blog post because it was very informative. I told her that I loved that she added a video at the end so we could hear and see her perform! She did amazing. I told her to keep up the hard work because she was already so talented at such a young age. She also has very good writing skills and a great vocabulary. I always make sure to tell them thanks for sharing!
I chose this video strictly because of the title, and when I was listening to it, I was so glad that I did. It is really hard to summarize this video because everything he said would mean a lot to a student who is going through this struggle. So I apologize for my summary length, I cut out so much of his talk, and there is still a long post!
When Shane was a kid he hid his heart under his bed because his mother told him if he wasn’t careful someone would break it. We are told to stand up for ourselves but how can we if we don’t know who we are? We have to define ourselves at an early age, if we don’t someone else does it for us... Geek, fatty, slut, fag, etc. At the same time, we were being told who we were, we are being asked what do you want to be when you grow up. Shane says he always thought that was an unfair question. It makes us assume that we can’t be what we already are- we were kids! When Shane was a kid, he wanted to be a man, he wanted to retire with enough savings that would keep him in candy long enough to make old age sweet. When he was 8, he wanted to be a marine biologist until he saw the movie Jaws. At age 10, he was told his parents left because they didn’t want him. At age 11, he wanted to be left alone. At age 12, he wanted to die. At age 13, he wanted to kill a kid. At age 14, he was asked to seriously consider a career path. He said he’d like to be a writer, and they told him to choose something realistic, so he said a professional wrestler and they responded with, Don’t be stupid. They asked what they wanted to be and then told them what they couldn’t be . He wasn’t the only one. They were being told that they must become what we are not sacrificing what we were to inherit the masquerade of what we will be. He was being told to accept the identity that others would give him. What made my dreams so easy to dismiss? He added that granted his dreams were shy, self conscious, and overly apologetic, standing alone at the high school dance, and never being kissed they were still his dreams. He goes on to say that not only did he get called silly but his dreams got called names also, silly, foolish, impossible. He had it all figured out, he was going to be a wrestler, called the garbage man, his finishing move was going to be called the trash compactor, his phrase was going to be, “I’m taking out the trash!” A guy called the Dumpster Drusky, stole his plot. He was crushed, so he turned to poetry. This was what he loved.
The first lines of poetry he remembers writing was in response to a world that demanded that he hates himself, from 15-18 he hated himself for becoming a bully, which he loathed. He was 19 when he wrote- “I will love myself despite the ease in which I lean towards the opposite standing up for yourself, doesn’t have to mean embracing violence.” When he was 9 he traded homework assignments for friendship, he gave himself a hall pass to get through every broken promise, he gave everyone a pass for showing up late or not at all. He remembers a plan born out of frustration from a kid that called him Yogi, and would point at his stomach and say “too many picnic baskets”. One day before school he gave this kid the answers from the homework, but he wrote wrong answers down for him the night before, when the boy got his homework back he was confused to see that he didn’t do well, and he looked at Shane questioning him? Shane showed him his paper which was nearly perfect and thought to himself, “smarter than the average bear mother ******!”
He explains what his life was like and the problems he dealt with for being overweight and how letting children use their own words can cause problems. There is a very funny story but I didn’t want to extend this blog post any longer than it already is, so I encourage you to actually watch this one! The story is how he gained his first nickname, Porkchop, but through this process he was removed from his grandmother’s home by protective services because of a miscommunication dealing with in his words a bruise from his moment of realization that fat kids weren’t designed to climb trees.
He goes on and says he knows he isn’t the only kid surrounded by people who used to say the rhyme: “Sticks and stones as if broken bones hurt more than the names we got called and we got called them all. So we grew up believing no one would ever fall in love with us. That we would be lonely forever. That we would never meet someone that would make us feel like the sun is something they built for us in their tool shed so broken heart strings bled the blues and we tried to empty ourselves so we felt nothing don’t tell me that hurts less than a broken bone.” He says that the school halls were battlegrounds, they found themselves outnumbered day after day we used to stand inside for recess because outside was worse.
We weren’t the only kids who grew up this way and still to this day kids are still being called names, causing bearded ladies, depression, and loneliness playing solitaire, spin the bottle, trying to kiss the wounded parts of ourselves and heal but at night while the others sleep. He wants to tell them that all of this is debris left over then we finally decide to smash all the things we thought we used to be an if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself you need to buy a new mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer, because there is something inside you that made you keep trying despite everyone who told you to quit. He goes on and explains the struggles that these kids go through throughout the school years . Shane says you have to believe that they were wrong, why else would we still be here? We grew up to cheer on the underdog because we see ourselves in them. We stem from a root planted in the belief we are not what we were called.In closing, he says our lives is just balancing acts that have less to do with pain and more to do with beauty.
Kakenya Ntaiya starts off her talk telling us about a group of people in Kenya that people travel the world to go see. These people, she says, are tall, can jump high, wear red, and kill lions. These people are Maasais and she says that she is a part of them. In this culture, the boys are brought up to be boys and girls are brought up to be mothers. When she was 5, she found out that she was engaged to be married as soon as she hit puberty. Everything she did from the moment she found out was to prepare her to be a perfect wife by age 12.
She went to school, because her mother was denied an education, her mother didn’t want Kakenya and her siblings to live the life she was living. Kakenya’s father worked as a police in the city, sometimes they didn’t see him for up to two years. Whenever he came home, he would sell the cows and products they had on the farm, that her mother had worked hard to use to take care of her children, just so he could go drink with his friends. Women were not allowed to own land, so her father had “the right” to do that because he owned it. The women of the village never questioned the men’s actions or choices.
When Kakenya went to school she had a dream, she wanted to become a teacher, She said it looked as if the teacher’s were just writing on the board and that wasn’t hard work, compared to what she was doing on the farm. So she worked hard to finish school, but when she was in 8th grade, she was forced to be a part of a ceremony for girls that signyfied their becoming a woman. At this point she hit a crossroad, once she went through this tradition, she would become a wife so her dream of being a teacher wouldn’t come through. She talked to her father, she told him that she would only go through this ceremony if he let her go back to school. He agreed. On the day of the ceremony they experienced an unlikely tradition of their culture, the girls had a piece of themselves mutilated. Kakenya’s mother took care of her and 3 weeks later she was back in high school. While in school, she met a gentlemen from their village that had been to The University of Oregon, She told him she wanted to go where he went because he looked happy.
She applied to school and was accepted, and she had to have the support of the village to be able to afford it. When the men of her village heard she had the opportunity to go to school they felt it was a lost of opportunity that should have been given to a boy. She went back to the village, they have a chief that if he says yes everyone will follow him. She asked for help and for him to support her to go to America, he said he couldn’t do it alone and gave her a list of 15 other men to help her. That worked. She arrived in America and was shocked at her findings of the land of plenty.
While in America, she learned that the ceremony that she and the others girls went through was against the law in Kenya, and that she had a right to get an education. She learned her mother had a right to own property and to not be abused. These things made her angry. She got her graduate degree, but had a constant pain for the girls in Kenya, so she went back to help. She wanted the backing of the village to support a school for the girls, they wanted a school for boys, so they did both. The sign of commitment to this project was the gift of land where they built the school for girls. In only 5 months everyone could see the change in the girls. They are making big differences in the girls. 125 girls will never be mutilated or married when they are 12 because of this school. They are instead creating and achieving their dreams. Its a new dawn ,a new beginning, happening in this school. They are giving opportunities so that they can rise and this is the tradition she brought to her community. She ended the speech with a challenge, she asked everyone to be the first leader because people will follow. Be bold, stand up, be fearless, be confident, as you change your world . If everyone does that what kind of world will we be able to leave our children?
What do babies think? Babies can understand and reflect. One thing the baby probably is thinking, what in the world are those people thinking? Psychologist and Doctors think that babies can’t think and talk like we do. There was a study done on two groups of babies, they were showed a bowl of broccoli and a bowl of goldfish. The doctor would say ummm… broccoli and put it to her mouth and then say eww...goldfish. When she asked for some the 15 month babies gave her goldfish. When she repeated the same process with the 18 months they would give her the one she wanted. That is just a three month difference. That shows us that babies know more and learn more than we thought. Why do children learn so much? We have always thought that babies are full of useless knowledge, There is a relationship between how long the period of childhood experience is to having bigger brains. Long childhoods mean a child is acquiring a lot of knowledge and learning.
Unconsciously kids are using statistics to find out about the world. Scientist do experiments as do kids, in the video it shows an experiment with a little boy who has two sets of two different colored shapes and a box with a light in it, if both sets are stacked correctly the lights in the boxes will come on, the child sat there and tried many scenarios to try and get both sets stacked properly to get both lights to shine. This, she says, is quite typical. Children usually do a series of experiments to find an answer. She says, “What is it like to be a creature that can test 5 hypothesis in just a few minutes?”
Most psychologist thought that babies were barely conscious, if even conscious at all. Allison thinks the opposite. Adults think if something is important we should pay attention, they are more flexibly focused and purpose driven. Babies and young children are a lantern of consciousness. They are very good at taking in more, they are bad at not paying attention. To be like that as adults, when we are put into situations we haven’t been in before, we act like kids. It’s good to be an adult, and makes sense that we put efforts into actually making babies. Think like adults do but if what we want is to be like these babies, to have open learning, imagination, open mindedness, creativity, and innovation. Maybe at least some of the time we should spend time getting more adults to think like more children!
We apologize for our long blog post, but these are some of the most meaningful videos that we have watched this semester! We encourage you to watch each of these if not the other seven also!
Friday, November 8, 2013
Wow! That is the word that comes to my mind when I heard Sir Ken Robinson’s speech on education. What an amazing thought he has on No Thought Left behind and on what education is really about. When I was in grade school I always felt as if I was going through the motions. I would memorize information for test and then forget the information as soon as the test was over. I have had a hard time adjusting in the college setting because I have had never had to think outside of memorizing information. I think that we can learn from Sir Ken Robinson that to be a great teacher the teacher has to do more than just deliver information to the class. As teachers we should educate students on things that can be used outside the classroom instead of the essential facts. If educators stop treating education as if it is a mechanical system and more like it is a human system then maybe we wouldn’t need alternative education. There are three types of people in this world, there are people that are movable, people who are unmovable and people who move. The people who move are the people who make things happen and if we have more people who move than we will have an educational revolution. If educators can understand this than education will stop being dormant and bloom like Death Valley.
Sunday, November 3, 2013
For my third C4T assignment I was assigned to Matt B Gomez! Matt is a kindergarten teacher and this is by far my favorite teacher blog I have seen. He blogs regularly and he blogs helpful things from apps that he uses in his classroom to filing methods he has discovered!!
On the first blog post that I commented on, Matt was telling us about an app that he uses in his classroom. The app's name is Popplet. It was just a short video showing us how Popplett is used and telling us that it is free but there is a more advanced version that cost a small fee a month, but there is no big difference in what you receive.
When I responded to Mr. Gomez, I started out by telling him who I was and that I was currently a junior at USA and also how I found his blog! I made sure to tell him that I thought it was awesome that he is a kindergarten teacher! I really enjoyed his video explaining Popplet! I told him that I find it very helpful to see present day teachers speaking about tools that they use inside their own classroom. I could see the visual word webs helping his students remember more things about the subject they were being taught! His video was detailed enough for me to download the app and create my own word web without any problems! I always end with thank you for sharing! I wished him a great finish to the year and left my BlogSpot address so that he could visit if he found the time!
For my second post that I commented on, Mr. Gomez told his followers about his filing system he uses in his classroom. He has his kindergarten students file away their finished work each day in file cabinets. He uses two different cabinets and half of their names are in each file. He told us that he found that multi-colored files work best because when the students open the file they see the color inside also. He teaches them to make sure the inside is the correct color so they know they are using the correct file. He says after just a quick demonstration they are able to handle using this system and it has worked well for him for many years. He says they learn to stay organized and it makes it easy on him to check their work Friday morning to see what they may need to finish for the week. The unfinished work is kept in a separate shelf which also makes it easy for them to know what they still need to finish. He adds that with this system he expects the kids to keep track of their work. On Friday mornings, he has the students bring him all of their finished work and they go through the work together. Anything that needs to be fixed would be moved to their unfinished work bucket, to be completed. As he meets with each child the class plays in imagination tubs because he thinks every Friday should start with fun and play! Usually it takes about 20 minutes to go through all of the work and then the class switches to centers to finish up the work for the week! He also adds descriptive pictures of his filing cabinets to help everyone understand what he is explaining, in case anyone was confused.
When I responded to his second blog post, I again told him who I was and how I found his blog. I told him how thankful I was that he shared this system with us! I told Mr. Gomez that I enjoy reading his blog post! I even plan on adding it to my PLN! I told him that he has some amazing ideas and methods. I also told him that I was really glad I got assigned to his blog! I added that I wasn't sure what grade I would end up teaching but I am sure this would come in handy regardless. I am so glad that he has a blog to share his work. I added that I love that he teaches his students responsibility. It is never to early to start teaching students this and I think kindergarten is a great place to begin! I left on the note of thanks again for sharing, and I look forward to looking at more of his blog posts! I do intend on using this system in my classroom, depending on which grade I start out teaching. I think this system could be used for many different grade levels.
This time I got a comment back from Mr. Gomez, and he replied, "Thanks for commenting Shanda."
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Duration: 250 minutes, divided amongst several days
Teacher: Ms. Shanda Thornton
Grade Level: Kindergarten
Project Idea Summary: Students will determine what foods are healthy choices and why they should make better choices when it comes to the types of foods that they eat. We will have a different activity everyday to explain and teach them about the food choices they make. My students will have a power point, song video about vegetables, and you tube clip to start the project for our entrance to the subject. After we listen to the lesson, we would pull out the magazines and they would cut out five healthy foods and five unhealthy foods and glue it to their paper. We will participate in healthy food bingo for an extra activity. They will list everything they eat on a journal from Monday through Thursday. On Friday, I would have a table set up that has healthy and unhealthy snacks on it and they would have to fill their plate according to the myplate categories of healthy foods. For homework, they would make a poster on why they should choose healthy foods.
Standards: Nutrition Standard # 12 Students will be able to identify healthy foods, including snacks Recognizing the six food groups shown on myplate Identifying characteristics of various foods Examples: taste, smell, color, texture locating the nutrition facts labels on food products
materials: paper scissors glue old magazines bingo cards bingo dots computer smart board paper plates table healthy foods unhealthy foods
21st century competencies: collaboration creativity communication
Entry Events: Power Point a youtube video a music video
Formative assessment worksheets journals checklists
Summative Assessment: multiple choice test self evaluation short presentation
I think everything he said in his speech was words to live by not only for future teachers but for every one! As future educators we could take all of his advice on the road we are traveling. I think we should all follow his advice especially about always having fun and to always keep a child like passion. Another lesson would be to always be a motivator and never let students give up on their dreams!
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Members: Shanda Thornton, Chastity Westry, and Victoria P. Williams
We can learn a lot of new techniques and different concepts of teaching through these videos. These teachers teach us new and different ways to run our classroom using some 21st Century competencies. There is a lot to be learned through these videos.
Brian talks about the different activities that are done throughout his classroom and how he does them. He knows that students disconnect easily and for many different reasons. We were really impressed that Brian does not stereotype his classroom. He has a classroom full of lower class children and he brings his best to the classroom. He wants them to have the best learning experience and he tries his best to provide that. He introduces these children to blogging along with other class projects. Brian offers his students real life problems through these projects and that is what will prepare the students for the real world. Also, he had speakers that tied into what they were learning to come in and speak with his class. This resource could provide the students with information that won’t be found on the internet. We learned that if we involve, connect, engage, empower, and motivate students they will be more interested in learning. The projects Brian produced for his students will make them lifelong learners and thinkers. Active learning is a great way to create a learning atmosphere. He teaches his students to think outside of the box. An example was when he told the students to tell the story as if they were the balloon, this gets the students involved in a thinking process. The blogging helps the students to interact with students all over the world and show their reflections. The comments allows students to converse back and forth, this tool teaches them a lot about connecting and collaborating with other people. The comments left on the students posts from readers encourages them to keep learning and improve their work. Brian also established goals implemented in the classroom, the students created goals for themselves, school, community, and the whole world. They also received feedback from other students from all over the world which made the students more globally aware. Second, we learned about a method called blended learning.
Paul uses the blended learning system for his classroom. Blended learning is when you take classroom learning and mix it with online and module work. Paul basically described it with these three resources: online, mobile, and classroom. There are five “E’s” that tie into the process of blended learning, which can be helpful to learn science.The learning cycles are: engage, exploring, explaining, expanding, and evaluating. So when you mix blended learning with the learning systems, you then will have a blended learning system. Brian wants his class to ask questions and predict what will happen next. Next, the class should then be evaluated. He also talked about the power of the questioning and the power of learning. He always starts with a question that hooks the students, once you have the students hooked, they are ready and excited to learn and answer the questions. Learning cycles are very useful to get students involved in the thinking process. Also, if the students follow all of the steps to this process on their own they are more likely to take more knowledge with them to the next level. To remember the steps of the cycles, he develops acronyms. Paul’s blended learning cycle consisted of six parts, “QUIVERS” : Questions- start with a good driving question, Investigate/Inquiry- inquire about the driving question and investigate the answer or the reasons, Video- watch a video about the driving topic, Elaborate- elaborate on the topic, Review- review all of the information collected, and Summary- take a summary quiz to make sure the students understand the topic.
In the last video, Making Thinking Visible, Mark Church gets his students to talk about the puzzles in small groups in order to capture the heart of the unit. In their groups the students connect with the ideas and decide what they think it is all about. The challenge on the whole topic in general is to figure out a phrase that headlines and captures the heart of what the unit is about, The students conversed and one girl stated, “how can we sum up everything with one phrase?”. There phrase would be based on how the students interpreted the unit and connected it with what they already know to the puzzles and challenging of the stories. Later on they headline it again and see how much the headline and their interpretations of the unit have changed since the first time they discussed it.